Anatomy of a Smoothie

**UPDATED 5/17/12**

Today’s money saving tip: Use leftover fruit salad to make your morning smoothie.

Hello Beautiful

I’ve been seeing those green smoothies all over the internet lately, and have recently fallen in love with several of the recipes. Unfortunately I have found that I rarely have all of the ingredients in the fridge at once, so I have just sort of been making up my own recipes. For example the one I had this morning was an improvised recipe made with left over fruit salad from last nights barbeque with my folks!

Through experimentation over the last few months, I have managed to break down the smoothie into three elements in order for it to be both fulfilling and delicious. The first element, and my most favorite is the “cream.” A good smoothie has to be creamy. (At least in my opinion, hopefully you will agree.) Next, it should be sweet, because why would you eat it if it didn’t taste good? Finally, you have to sneak in some protein in order for it to be fulfilling. Now how do I achieve all of these elements into one delicious refreshing beverage you ask? Read on my dear friend.

The creaminess in your smoothie can be achieved several ways and meet several dietary needs. For example, if you are allergic to gluten, dairy and/or peanuts you can use a banana to both thicken and sweeten your smoothie. If you are not allergic you can use Greek yogurt or peanut butter, which will also incorporate your protein. There are many protein shake powders on the market, which usually contain malt for thickening, as well as a plant based protein for energy. I also like adding coconut milk for a little extra flavor and creaminess.

As for the taste, I really don’t think you need my help telling you what tastes good. In the event you need help with some flavor combination suggestions, I will offer you some suggestions that I like best towards the end of this post.

Now for the seemingly most difficult element, the protein. There are a lot more options than one might think. Consider peanut butter, almond butter, Greek Yogurt (Vanilla or Plain, low-fat or nonfat) protein powder, protein drink mix, even oatmeal has more protein in it than one might think. I am sure there are plenty of soy products out there for you soy lovers as well. I will not list them here though, just because I am not personally a fan, but I know there are plenty out there. Almond milk is another option. It will add the creaminess and has more protein and calcium than dairy milk. Surprise! So play around with some different combinations, and see what you like.

As promised some of my favorite flavor combinations.

Banana-Almond
1/2 Banana
2 TBLS almond butter
2 TBLS Greek Yogurt
1/2 c Almond Milk (I use Vanilla flavored)
Drink your greens! Add a handful of baby spinach to give you an extra boost in the morning!

Tropical
1/3 Banana
1-2 TBLS Diced pineapple
Apple wedge
2 TBLS Greek Yogurt
1/4 c Coconut Milk (NOT low fat)
2 TBLS Vanilla protein powder (optional, but I like Trader Joe’s Hemp Based Protein Powder)
1/4 c dairy or almond milk
sprinkle of sweetened coconut flakes (also optional)

Summer Love
1/3 c fresh ripe strawberries
1 kiwi (peeled, obviously)
handful of ice
6 oz. strawberry yogurt (Being an Oregonian, I prefer Tillamook!)

Today’s smoothie?
Simply half a banana, 1/2 cup fruit salad, 2 TBLS each plain Greek yogurt and vanilla protein powder, and enough almond milk to blend it (about 1/3 cup)

So there you have it friends! Easy as 1-2-3, elements that is, and you have your morning smoothie. Hope you all enjoy!

5/17/12 Update:

Hello again! Yes, I am still chugging smoothies and squeezing in extra lunges whenever possible, in order to trim down for summer. I hope you are sticking to your guns and working hard toward your summer goals as well. This morning I had a summer inspired epiphany while making my smoothie. It was just so delicious I had to share!

I bought 4 pounds of beautifully red ripe California grown strawberries from Costco last night, and when I saw them in my fridge this morning, I knew I had to incorporate them into my breakfast. Since the sun is shining brightly today, I decided it was a great day to enjoy a smoothie outside on my deck. I knew I wanted strawberries and yogurt, but what else? Then I opened the freezer and was reminded of the delicious frozen peaches I bought from my fruit stand. So much better than the ones you buy at the grocery store; locally grown and hand picked at the peak of ripeness. But I digress. What a perfect combination fresh summer strawberry mixed with frozen peaches and creamy yogurt. Yum! After I had mixed it up and had begun drinking it while taking photographs for the Mellocello, Mr F and I just finished bottling, I had an epiphany. I squeezed my prop lemon into my smoothy, stirred and sipped. Mmmmm… now that my friends is perfection. I couldn’t believe what a difference a few drops of lemon juice made. It really just brightened the whole drink up and really excentuated the sweet tartness of the drink. Anyway, I just thought I’d share that little tidbit with you. I hope you will give this summer harvest inspired smoothie a try and let me know what you think!

 

Strawberry Peach Smoothie

Sweet Summer Perfection Smoothie

INGREDIENTS:
3-4 Large fresh ripe strawberries
1/2-2/3 c frozen peaches
6-8 oz yogurt (I used Nancy’s Honey Yogurt, but I’m sure vanilla would taste good too!)
Handful of ice cubes
Squeeze of Lemon.

DIRECTIONS:

Place first 4 ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Squeeze lemon wedge over top and gently stir. Poor into cold glass and sip in the summer sun.

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